It seems like every social issue in this country and around the globe was conjured up by white men with their made up bullshit, left behind wherever they choose to squat. The bullshit is so foul and pervasive that the likes of a Scott Jones and Donald Trump have been elected to lead and represent others, including women whom they detest. The bullshit has become the norm for mediocrity and silence. But in natural leadership fashion, Black women show up to save days and save lives. They don’t call her Auntie Maxine for no reason at all. Let us all get in FORMATION…..because she, the Black woman is here to slay without restraint or limitation or constructs that are opposed to the very essence of her UNTAMABLE EXISTENCE.
…..Sometimes I go off, I go off
I go hard, I go hard
I get what’s mine, I take what’s mine
I’m a star, I’m a star
Cause I slay, all day, we gon’ slay…..
Okay, ladies now let’s get in formation
I see it, I want
I dream it, I work hard
I grind ‘til I own it
Okay ladies, now let’s get in formation, I slay
You know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation.
The Root (video link) recently put out a video of Viola Davis giving an acceptance speech for long over-due recognition, as she for far too long has been overlooked by the very industry that she has slaved and played the proverbial “help” in the background of expression, creativity and existence. In said speech, her goal was evident…..to stand up for Black women. Speaking to Hollywood and its neglect of Black women, with her dark brown complexion (melanin poppin’), full lips, not so size 2 figure, and naturally, unapologetically nappy afro, she proclaimed, no demanded that there be no further attempts to TAME Black women.
I sat back proud, knowing her celebrity gives credence and credibility to the position Black women take in these streets every day fighting for LIBERATION on every front. I also paused for those Black women who have fought and continue to fight the good fight so we all can win. Those silenced and raped of their dignity and opportunity to speak on IT (whatever it could be), for all of us and even them too (because truth be told, white men even benefit from what Black women magically do). I echo Viola's sentiment, especially in this movement for Social Justice, where Black women are often times the ones doing the heavy lifting and consequently are the most abused as a result of our bodacious stances against inequity.
I recently posted on my FB page, “I come to fight, and I like it because I love to win.” I can say that because I saw my mama fight and Angela Davis and Assata Shakur and Ida B. Wells and Nina Simone and Dorothy Height and Audre Lorde and Fannie Lou and Shirley Chisholm and Marian Wright Edelman and Sojourner Truth and Ella Baker and Merilee Evers and Betty Shabazz and Tarana Burke and Ashley Yates and Erica Garner and Roxane Gay and yes, even Beyonce. I could go on and on because we, Black women have proved to be steadfast and unmovable. Black Lives Matter Sacramento, like the national organization, was founded and have been led by Black women who willingly sacrifice their physical beings, mental capacity, and internal joy for the sake of everyone else.
When it comes to HER, I don’t care if she is short and fat or skin and bones, I don’t care if she is black as midnight or high-yella, I don’t care if she is trans or queer, I don’t care if she is bald or disabled and I damn sure don’t care if she is mistaken for a man…..all I care is that she is R-E-S-P-E-C-T-E-D, like Aretha Franklin bellowed from the pits of her soul. Let them find out what “respect” means to me because when all is said and done, it is the lack of respect that handcuffs the ability of Black women to legitimately effect change. Yeah, we might show up at the polls or lead a protest, but what we really want is CHANGE....and strategically attack the problem is the result of being warned down by the system. With that being said, I like Fannie Lou and so many other Black women, “am tired of being sick and tired.” See, our truth has been a face to face, fist fight since the day we stepped foot off of slave ships in 1619.
We, Black women, have been on repeat for centuries and the FACT is we aren’t going anywhere. I damn sure ain’t, I know for sure Tanya Faison ain’t. I know that Ebony Harper isn’t. I know #ErykahBadu ain’t. I know that Onethia, Adrianne, Lesa, Melisa, and Mia aren’t. I hope #BrittanyFerrell and #DrBeverlyTatum and #DrJoyDeGruy and #IssaRae and #BlairImani and #SenatorHollyMitchell and #BigFreedia and #BrittneyCooper and #YaraShahidi and #DrRamonaBishop and #SenatorShirleyWebber and #KaylaReed aren’t…..going anywhere that is. Again, I could go on and on, because we, Black women have proven to be committed to getting our hands dirty and working through the pain even when blood drips slowly from wounds that last forever and never really heal.
Case in point.....our Trans sister Ebony Harper is awaiting trial for bogus charges that Sacramento County has in the past set a precedent of dropping. In an attempt of trying to make an example out of Ebony, her stature as a community leader and advocate for LBGTQ and more specifically Trans right is of high priority to who she is; especially in this climate of "Trump hate" that dictates policy, procedure, and protocol. On April 12, 2018, Ebony and another Black woman were unfairly targeted by the Sacramento Police department, during a peaceful continuous protest as a result of the #StephonClark murder. The other Black woman had her charges dropped, as have other protestors in this town, by the very same District Attorney's office. Ebony is a perfect target of both DA Ann Marie Schubert and Sheriff Scott Jones, who both were re-elected and can essentially treat this case with disregard and unfettered contempt. #TheHateIsReal.....
Ebony was physically treated with excessive force, tassed, arrested and ultimately placed in the men's jail.....Ebony is a woman. Her activism and presence at the District Attorney's office are important to the plight of Black Trans people all over this nation, considering how Trans folks are often criminalized and abused by law enforcement and the criminal justice system. This is a matter of her survival and her BLACKNESS is a matter of her God-given birth-RIGHT!!! Being Black and Trans without a doubt increases the experiences of trauma and determines one's ability to live in peace. Ebony's case is an example of a blatant miscarriage of justice. Activist like Ebony Harper, Tanya Faison, and others have embarrassed the status quo of doing business as usual with respects from the SOcial Justice lens; and have shined a light on how law enforcement and the criminal justice system inherently and historically uses excessive force, excessive murder, excessive bail, and excessive sentencing to control Black and Trans bodies.
Speaking of wounds that last forever, we have to be honest…..there is an inherent devaluing of the very essence of persons who show up in any form of a Black womanhood. This year has been one filled with glaring revelations…..nothing new, but so obvious that it has been said a million ways to Sunday - A BLACK WOMAN WILL PINPOINT EVERYTHING WRONG IN ANY GIVEN SITUATION AND DO IT WITH LOVE, STILL HOPING FOR THE BEST. His-stories have given us glimpses into this truth (the exploitation of us is real), as they have hand-picked which black women will be recognized as totter of truth and justice, even though they have no business trying to hand-pick or pigeonhole what a Black LEADER looks like. Sheriff cott Jones tried it and failed.
Why is it that Black women always get the blunt end of the stick? Why is she asked to calm her emotions or quiet the uneasiness of her soul? Why is it so easy to call her a BITCH? Why is her passion and frustration mislabeled as anger? Why doesn’t she deserve to be angry, considering the blunt end of the stick she always receives? If she is the MOTHER OF CIVILIZATION, why is she so vilified and criminalized? Why do you want to tame her? Why are you so scared of her....the Black woman, is it because the truth hurts so bad inside?
I ask these questions because ADonne Shelby, mother of #TayvonShelby’s voice still resonates in my soul when she asked an important question at the Board of Supervisor’s meeting earlier this month…..would you be angry like me, if your child was murdered and law enforcement ignored the obvious; and even erroneously and fraudulently documented the falsehoods of the system in the form of an autopsy report. STOP TRYING TO TAME US. ADonne Shelby isn’t alone in this grief…..it took Bridget McIntyre over a year to speak out for her son #Mikel McIntyre and it took Sequette Clark more than 8 months to re-emerge from the shadows of despair after SacPD MURDERED her son #StephonClark in her mother’s backyard. A grieving mother cannot be understood unless you too are a grieving mother and no one wants to be a member of that club. But effortlessly they show up broken and stay ready to fight. I am reminded of Yolanda Banks-Reed, mother of #ShaleemTindle of Oakland and Sybrina Fulton mother of #TrayvonMartin of Florida.....how poised and articulate they always show up in this fight. It is one thing when you see the collateral damage on the face, spirit, and bodies of the Black mothers left behind to live with the pain of their babies being stolen via gun violence and excessive force; be it intercommunal or state-sanctioned violence by law enforcement. It’s so important to pause and surround grieving loved ones, especially the mamas. As a mother, I know I would be devastated if something happened to any of my babies, and we all must respect, shift and/or hold her pain.
But, I can’t help but to think about the Black women who herself is the victim of said violence, trauma, and TERRORISM….. especially, as an ACTIVIST and FREEDOM FIGHTER.
Say Her (motherfucking) Name…..
and so many others that have gotten no shine, because Black women live in the shadows of violence, even though we suffer from every angle and outcome of the equation when it comes to systemic violence.....all murdered by cops. Still and yet, we cannot forget Black women are the biggest targets of other forms of police violence, like but not limited to RAPE. And don’t forget about the Black women who are not protected by their families, their community or the system…..the 51-year sentence of #CyntoiaBrown comes to mind and speak volumes to how Black women never get the benefit of the doubt.
Other people’s desires for her life have led to the watered down, unauthentic, fantasy of who Black women are NOT. The system has chosen to not see us, even though we have been the most outspoken about the bullshit that prevents us from leading effectively. I will not lie about the fallacy and the history and the norms and the toting of falsehoods that have pushed us from the center. This is not about deserving accolades, because if it were.....Black women would always win. I will not bend or conform or cower to a system that has proven no desire to see me or hear me or validate my experiences. I want the world to know that it is normal to fight against the danger of your life or your children’s lives. I am proud of #JazmineHeadley, who recently fought against New York police officers attacking her and her 1-year-old baby. I want the world to know we, Black women are not afraid to fight. And if you are paying attention to the Black Lives Matter Sacramento chapter, you better know Black women are not only leading but will fight you for what is right and just.
We will fight you for LIBERATION.
We will fight you over our babies.
We will fight you over Black men.
We will fight you over our Black sisters, especially our Black Trans sisters.
We will fight you for JUSTICE.
We will fight you for REPARATIONS.
We will fight you for DIGNITY.
We will fight you for RESPECT.
We will fight you to LIVE.
We will fight you over CULTURAL APPROPRIATION.....especially white folks with dreds, STOP IT!!!
When shit goes down and you attempt to erase us, subdue us, quiet us, RAPE us (historically, you have mastered raping us), tell us to be civil, tell us to use decorum or to have self-control…..WE. WILL. FIGHT. YOU.
(get used to us never, ever, ever backing down)
December 30th - Black Lives Rap Fest II @ the Blue Lamp 9pm
January 12th - Abolish & Rebuild: Our Streets, Our Systems for Our People - @ Robbie Waters Library 6pm
January 21st - 4th Annual Reclaim MLK: This Was Not the Dream - @ 8:30am
July 17th - Let's Recall Scott Jones - a virtual event